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Nov-11-2006 00:24printcomments

Sneak Preview of Afghan-Iraqi Memorial

Public unveiling of the statue is at 2:00PM Saturday

Iraq war memorial statue
Photos: IraqWarHeroes.org Don't let the memory of them drift away

(SALEM) - The Afghan-Iraqi War Memorial on Summer Street will be dedicated today, appropriately, on Veteran’s Day.

The Memorial is the result of the efforts of Clay and MJ Kesterson whose son Erik Kesterson, an Army Blackhawk helicopter pilot, was shot down and killed while fighting in Iraq in 2003, and dozens of others who understand the deep meaning behind this tribute.

Jane Honbeck, created the artwork, then Bill McMichael went to work along with a wealth of other local contractors and volunteers on the hard labor which has been 7 days a week for many months.

Groundbreaking for the Memorial was June 14th, 2005, and crews began erecting the Memorial on September 11th, 2006. Gold Star families had a private ceremony Friday, and the public will see the Memorial for the first time today.

The name of each Oregonian lost is listed

The design consists of an oval pool with constantly moving water. It is lined with a stainless-steel map of the world and an 8-foot bronze figure of a soldier down on one knee over the United States, with an arm outstretched.

Governor Ted Kulongoski will be the keynote speaker at the dedication ceremony Saturday at 2:00. Jim Willis, Director of the Oregon Department of Veterans’ Affairs, and Oregon’s Adjutant General, Major General Fred Rees, will also speak. The public is invited to join in the commemoration of this incredible Memorial.

The Afghan-Iraqi Freedom Memorial is located on the grounds of the Oregon Veteran’s Building on Summer Street in Salem.

Afghan-Iraqi Freedom Memorial

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Bonnie King has been with Salem-News.com since August '04, when she became Publisher. Bonnie has served in a number of positions in the broadcast industry; TV Production Manager at KVWB (Las Vegas WB) and Producer/Director for the TV series "Hot Wheels in Las Vegas", posts as TV Promotion Director for KYMA (NBC), and KFBT (Ind.), Asst. Marketing Director (SUPERSHOPPER MAGAZINE), Director/Co-Host (Coast Entertainment Show), Radio Promotion Director (KBCH/KCRF), and Newspapers In Education/Circulation Sales Manager (STATESMAN JOURNAL NEWSPAPER). Bonnie has a depth of understanding that reaches further than just behind the scenes, and that thoroughness is demonstrated in the perseverance to correctly present each story with the wit and wisdom necessary to compel and captivate viewers. View articles written by Bonnie King




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APRIL LASALLE November 5, 2007 8:11 am (Pacific time)

DIDNT KNOW OF FAMILY EXCEPT WHAT I HEARD FROM ROBERT SR. AND I KNOW YOUR LOSES HAVE BEEN WORSE OF ALL KINDS BUT ME AND MY CHILDREN THANKYOU AND YOUR FAMILY FOR ALL YOUVE GIVEN AND HOPE YOU ARE ALL WELL YOU ARE ALL GOOD PEOPLE AND GODBLESS YOU ALLAND THE OTHER FAMILYS THAT ARE WITHOUT THEIR LOVED ONES


Thad and Angela Baum November 16, 2006 9:47 pm (Pacific time)

My husband's brother who was killed in Afghanistan would be thankful someone was thinking of him and his fellow brothers. The memorial is a wonderful tribute to all servicemen.


Kurt Hucke November 14, 2006 10:01 am (Pacific time)

Good comment Jack! You did your homework, most people do not. Sad to say but most Americans have not even heard of "Loose Change" or "The Truth and Lies of 9/11." They do not know that the "Reichstag Fire" was a common form of creating war by deceiving the masses....just like 9/11. Americans are too naive and trusting. They actually believe that there is someone out there that gives a rat's a** about them.


jack November 13, 2006 9:50 pm (Pacific time)

now, bring the troops still alive home; they are fighting a war that was 100% built on lies. The first Iraq war saw over 25% of the troops seen as casualties (over 200,000) given the exposure to depleted uranium. Nearly one in four that served have medical problems and over 10,000 have died. Bet you didn't know that. That "quick" and "clean" war that lasted for a few days .... over 10,000 Americans dead. And now, another generation of military souls are exposed to the same toxic depleted uranium, and this time, given the duration of the war, you are going to see over 20,000 dead in ten years and an even higher percentage of service people suffering. Don't yell at me or call me a conspiracy theorist. Get off your butt and do research on depleted uranium and what is really going on. If you want to benefit those that fight for our freedoms, learn how those very people are treated like hamburger by our "leaders" and do something about it.


Amanda Arciola November 11, 2006 9:54 pm (Pacific time)

Beautiful and sad, a great tribute to the fallen.


Linda Snyder PGR Epicwoman November 11, 2006 3:28 pm (Pacific time)

Thank God these men and women did not have to wait decades to be remembered and honored with a memorial. Thank you to those who gave their lives in service to our country. Bless all who made this memorial possible With Care Linda Snyder

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